When I first accepted Jesus into my life, I was already in my twenties. I knew I needed a guide to help me navigate this new and exciting, yet daunting, life. I had questions—lots of questions—that I felt could only be answered by someone who had gone before me.
“So what does it really mean to be a Christian in the world today?”
“I know what the Bible says, but how do I do what it says?”
These, among many others, are just some of the questions I’ve had throughout my faith journey. Whether you are new to the Christian faith or accepted Jesus at a young age, questions like these rattle all of us in various seasons of life.
God did not intend for us to navigate these questions alone. The Titus 2 encouragement is a beautiful picture of God’s design for mentoring relationships: “Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.” Titus 2:3-5 (NIV)
The Mentee Journey
Stepping into my new faith, I needed someone I could look to in the unknown—someone who would continue to point me to Jesus and serve as an example of what it is to follow Jesus in all areas of life. Graciously, God orchestrated an encounter that placed me with my first spiritual mentor who helped me develop a foundation for my faith today.
However, God’s design for mentoring is not a one-and-done experience. Just like our questions evolve with our understanding, so do our mentoring relationships. Mentoring is meant to be an ongoing relationship that grows with both the mentor and mentee. For me, it was in a growth season that I started my FLOURISH mentoring journey. At the time, I had just moved to a new city and was seeking a mentor. FLOURISH was launching at my church that fall, and I took a leap of faith and applied for the program. Shortly thereafter, I was placed with my mentor, Jessica, along with two other mentees. Together we would journey in community for the next two years.
During my first month in FLOURISH, I quickly began to notice three major changes in my spiritual life:
- Consistency: My consistency in connecting with the Word and God increased exponentially. The FLOURISH curriculum helped to set the tone for my daily devotions and develop a spiritual rhythm that I continue to this day.
- Delight: With the Holy Spirit and encouragement from my mentor, I found myself truly delighting in Scripture. It no longer felt like a task but a privilege to open the Word each day. My mentor modeled this in her own life while providing gentle reminders each week (as well as grace when we fell short).
- Prayer: Knowing that you have a mentor praying specifically for you makes an impact. Not only are your own prayers echoed by someone who walks closely with the Lord, but you are also inspired to pray more deeply for others. During these early months, I was challenged to connect intimately with God and pray for those around me.
As the year progressed, our FLOURISH group found itself simultaneously on mountain tops and in valleys. Over the next several months, we experienced loss and marriage, job layoffs and graduate school admissions, and significant pain alongside answered prayers. These challenging experiences together allowed us to witness a Titus 2 relationship in action; living a God-filled life, rooted in the Word, for the sake of the Gospel.
Transitioning to Mentor
Although it has been four years since we opened our first FLOURISH book together, my mentor and I remain in contact. However, after completing the program, I could not escape the tug on my heart to give back and invest in a young woman the way Jessica did for me. Despite my experience as a mentee, I was nervous. I felt unequipped and unqualified. I didn’t know if I actually had any wisdom to share. I knew I grew over the two years with my mentor, but was I really ready to step into the place of a role model and example?
But I was challenged by the example I saw in Acts. Barnabas mentored Paul, who then mentored Timothy. Paul, a hero of the Christian faith, had a mentor. But, he did not remain siloed in that relationship. Instead, Paul was committed to pass along what he had received. Mentoring relationships are meant to grow and then reap the harvest of that relationship. Eventually, we all become the more seasoned believer Titus 2 speaks of, and we are challenged to expand our reach and guide others.
With the conviction to mentor, I applied to serve in that capacity. Since then, I have had the privilege to steward the FLOURISH curriculum with three young women over the last year, and it has gone beyond my expectations. If you are like me and feel the tug to mentor but are unsure you are the person for the job, I pray you find these three things I learned in my first year as a mentor encouraging!
- You ARE the person for the job! However you found yourself in a mentoring relationship—either through a church-sponsored program or in a one-on-one experience—God has equipped and prepared you for the women He has placed in your life. You won’t always know the answers, but the good news is that you don’t have to. Together, you can turn to the Word of God and learn together. Mentoring was not designed to be transactional, but mutually transformational.
- Wisdom: No matter where you are in life, know that you have had an experience that a younger woman needs to learn from. It did not take long for me to realize that I have wisdom to share with my mentees. Whether you’re in college and mentoring a middle schooler, or an empty-nester mentoring a new mom, God has already given you the wisdom you need to be a mentor.
- Mentors need mentors, too. Because mentoring is meant to evolve over time, that means that the relationship with my own mentor would evolve as I moved into this role as well. Mentoring is about process, not arrival. Regardless of your season, someone will always be there who can pour into you, as you pour into another.
Friends, regardless of where you are in your life journey—hurting and broken or singing God’s praises on top of the mountain—mentoring through FLOURISH is for you. We were created for relationships, and we need other women in our lives who will encourage, challenge, and most importantly, point us to the Word of God, reminding us of who He is in every season. Whether you’re seeking a mentor or have a desire to be a mentor, today is your day to say yes to a mentoring journey.
Emily Floyd is the project manager for Passion Publishing and has been involved with the FLOURISH program at Passion City Church since 2016. She is passionate about creating spaces and environments for others to lead in their God-given gifts for the kingdom of God. She makes her home in Atlanta, GA, with her husband James and sweet pup, Lucy.